187 voters

The Best Musical Artists From New Mexico

Updated July 25, 2020 1.8k votes 187 voters 10.2k views80 items

List RulesOnly artists born or raised in New Mexico or bands formed in New Mexico.

Here are the best artists and bands from New Mexico. Dating back to the time when the ancient Pueblo and Anasazi people lived in the state, New Mexico has a rich music history. In the 1940s, New Mexico became home to a well-known studio where the likes of Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly recorded songs. The area established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry when The Fireballs earned a #1 hit on the Billboard charts with their song "Sugar Shack." 

The most popular musical artists from New Mexico play in all kinds of different genres. Bands like The Shins specialize in folk rock while The Echoing Green is more synthpop. It is difficult to nail down a specific vibe of the area because the state itself is so eclectic. Numerous artists were either born or raised in the state, and plenty of bands first formed here. One thing is certain: New Mexico's contributions to pop culture extend far beyond Breaking Bad. Other famous New Mexico artists include Demi Lovato, Beirut, John Denver, and Glen Campbell.

You may now be asking yourself, "Which musical artists are from New Mexico?" You may be surprised to see your favorite artists are on this list. Check out the bands and singers below to find dozens of artists hailing from the Land of Enchantment. Vote for the ones you like best. 

  • 1
    Western music, Pop music

    AlbumsRocky Mountain Christmas, Christmas Like a Lullaby, A Christmas Together, Take Me Home, Country Roads

    Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, whose...  more

    The Best John Denver Albums of All Time#85 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time#72 of 376 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • 2
    New Mexico music
    Al Hurricane Jr. (born Alberto Nelson Sanchez Jr. on October 30, 1959) is an American singer-songwriter. He is known as "The Godson" of New Mexico Music, a nickname which was inherited from his...  more
  • 3
    Alberto Nelson Sanchez (July 10, 1936 – October 22, 2017), known professionally as Al Hurricane, was an American singer-songwriter, dubbed "The Godfather" of New Mexico music. He released more than...  more
  • 4
    Indie pop, Folk rock

    AlbumsChutes Too Narrow, Wincing the Night Away, Port of Morrow, Oh, Inverted World

    The Shins are an American indie rock band formed in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1996. The band's current lineup consists of James Mercer (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, songwriter), Jon Sortland...  more

    The Best Shins Songs#1097 of 1,681 The Best Rock Bands Of All Time#41 of 476 The Most Hipster Bands

  • 5
    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsThat Christmas Feeling, A Glen Campbell Christmas, Home for the Holidays, Glen Campbell Christmas, Merry Christmas

    Glen Travis Campbell (April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017) was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, television host, and actor. He was best known for a series of hit songs in the 1960s and 1970s,...  more

    The Best Glen Campbell Albums of All Time#65 of 121 The Best 1970s Christian Pop Artists#227 of 656 The Best Singers Of All Time

  • 6
    Indie pop, Contemporary R&B

    AlbumsDon't Forget, Here We Go Again, Demi, Unbroken, Walmart Soundcheck

    Demetria Devonne Lovato ( lə-VAH-toh; born August 20, 1992) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She made her debut as a child actress on the children's television series Barney &...  more

    The Best Demi Lovato Albums of All Time#3 of 96 The Greatest Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years#137 of 297 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

  • 7
    Rock music, Country
    Alfredo "Freddie" Brown (December 4, 1940 – April 30, 2002) was an American singer-songwriter, he is known for his contributions to New Mexico music, and his ability to seamlessly switch between...  more
  • 8
    Blues-rock, Chicago blues

    AlbumsBo Diddley, Super Blues, His Best, Two Great Guitars, The Chess Box

    Ellas McDaniel (born Ellas Otha Bates, December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), known as Bo Diddley, was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter and music producer who played a key role in the transition...  more

    #37 of 100 Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time#353 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time#41 of 542 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

  • 9
    Popular music, Western music

    AlbumsAcoustic Christmas Carols, Cowboy Christmas: Cowboy Songs II, Cowboy Christmas III, Cowboy Christmas, Cowboy Songs

    Michael Martin Murphey (born March 14, 1945) is an American singer-songwriter best known for writing and performing Western music, country music and popular music. A multiple Grammy nominee, Murphey...  more

    #181 of 297 The Top Country Artists of All Time#147 of 215 The Greatest Classic Country & Western Artists Of All-Time#42 of 99 The Best Country Singers From California

  • 10
    Pop music, Folk music

    AlbumsThe Flying Club Cup, Gulag Orkestar, Elephant Gun, Pompeii EP, Lon Gisland

    Beirut is an American band which was originally the solo musical project of Santa Fe native Zach Condon. Beirut's music combines elements of indie-rock and world music. The band's first performance...  more

    #22 of 54 The Best Bands Named After Cities#20 of 62 The Best Bands Named After Real Places#144 of 491 The Best Indie Bands & Artists

  • 11
    Americana, Rock music

    AlbumsMescalito, Tomorrowland, Wishbone Saloon, Dead Horses, Junky Star

    Ryan Bingham (born George Ryan Bingham on March 31, 1981) is a Grammy Award, Academy Award, and Golden Globe Award winning, American singer-songwriter, whose music spans multiple genres. He is...  more

    #61 of 145 The Best Country Singers From Texas#47 of 301 The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time#11 of 44 The Best Red Dirt Singers

  • 12
    Latin American music, Latin pop

    AlbumsMi Tributo a Juan Gabriel

    Lorenzo Antonio (born Lorenzo Antonio Sánchez Pohl October 3, 1969, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States), is a singer and songwriter of Latino (Mexican) origin, who is known and recognized in...  more
  • 13
    Robert Mirabal (born October 6, 1966) is a Pueblo musician and Native American flute player and maker from Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. His flutes are world-renowned and have been displayed at the...  more
  • 14
    Klezmer, Folk music

    AlbumsYou Have Already Gone to the Other World, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, The Way the Wind Blows, Darkness at Noon, A Hawk and a Hacksaw and The Hun Hangár Ensemble

    A Hawk and a Hacksaw is an American folk duo from Albuquerque, New Mexico, currently signed to L.M. Dupli-cation. The band consists of accordionist Jeremy Barnes, who was previously the drummer for...  more
  • 15
    Americana, Alternative country

    AlbumsLive at Schuba’s Tavern, Twilight, Last Days of Wonder, Singing Bones, Through the Trees

    The Handsome Family is an alternative country and Americana duo consisting of husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks formed in Chicago, Illinois, and currently based in Albuquerque, New Mexico....  more
  • 16
    Bobby Shew (born March 4, 1941 Albuquerque, New Mexico) is an American jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player. After leaving college in 1960, Shew was drafted into the U.S. Army and played trumpet with...  more
  • 17
    Matt Ingalls (born 1970) is an American composer, clarinetist, concert producer, and computer music programmer. He is mostly associated with the San Francisco Bay Area Improv Scene, sfSound, the San...  more
  • 18
    Post-metal, Rock music

    AlbumsHarmonic Tremors, Bird of Prey, Savage Masters

    Zozobra is a metal band that was first conceived by Caleb Scofield during 2006. He was joined by Santos Montano for the band's first release, Harmonic Tremors in 2007. Sonically, Zozobra bears a lot...  more
  • 19

    AlbumsThe Broken!, BC13, I'm Not a Fan, but the Kids Like It!, Guilty Pleasure

    Brokencyde is an American crunkcore musical group from Albuquerque, New Mexico, founded in 2006. The group's lineup consists of David "Se7en" Gallegos and Michael "Mikl" Shea, and musically are one...  more
  • 20
    Eric McFadden (born December 1, 1965) is an American guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter from San Francisco. He spent his formative years in Albuquerque, New Mexico, receiving lessons from Stanton...  more
  • 21
    Rock music, World fusion music

    AlbumsZia Soul

    Red Earth is a Native American rock band from Albuquerque, New Mexico which has released three independent albums....  more
  • 22
  • 23
    The Rondelles are an indie pop band originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Its three members were still in high school when they formed the band in the mid-1990s - Juliet Swango on guitar and...  more
  • 24
    Pop punk, Garage punk

    AlbumsHutch Brown Sayngwich, Tired of You, Crossing With Switchblades, Seven Stories tall (Singles '94-'99), How to Lose

    Scared Of Chaka is a punk rock band based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, which was formed in 1993 by guitarist/vocalist David Yanul Hernandez, bass guitarist Dameon Waggoner and drummer Jeff Jones....  more
  • 25
    Doom metal, Post-metal
    Aaron Turner (born November 5, 1977) is an American musician, singer, graphic artist, and founder of label Hydra Head Records. He is most widely known for his role as guitarist and vocalist for the...  more
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List Rules: Only artists born or raised in New Mexico or bands formed in New Mexico.